The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes to consumer behavior on a global level. As a response to this, industries are challenged to reassess and redesign their operations in order to thrive in a harsher environment. In this context, the Ateneo de Naga University-Graduate School-Master in Business Administration organized by the MBA 233 – Operations and Systems Management class in coordination with the Center for Local Governance conducted a Webinar emphasizing leadership and adaptability entitled “RESET, ALL SET!” Remaking Operations Systems in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Keynote Speaker, Mr. Dexter Lloyd C. Cuajotor, Assistant Vice President, Bank of the Philippine Islands, presented his experiences in leading his organization amidst the challenges brought about by this COVID-19 pandemic. He explained strategies on reorganizing structure towards a debt-collecting focused goal for the Bank as a response to the pandemic; summarizing that structure follows strategy.
Directed to the attendees, he emphasized on having a unified non-negotiable vision, while also being flexible on the details. Additionally, he also admonished to veer away from a negative mindset; urging instead to discern and choose to Win-From-Home against this crisis by capitalizing on technology and people empowerment. Lastly, he parted with the message to imbibe hope and trust in each other and Up Above during times of uncertainty and suffering.
Three additional resource speakers were also invited to share their respective industries’ experience and responses to the pandemic. The first speaker, Mr. Kevin O. Abiog, General Manager, PPI Holdings, Inc., provides an overview of the food industry’s crisis and tenacity. He explains that small and independent restaurants, despite being considered as an essential service, are at risk of shutdowns because of physical restrictions. Companies have been moving towards partnering with third-party mobile delivery services as a means to sustain operations due to the loss of physical customers. Lastly, the speaker advised restaurants to keep in touch with their loyal customers and to make ways for new customers to find their restaurants such as through social media.
The second resource speaker, Mrs. Bernie Aton-Poliquit, Director of the Office of Communications and External Relations, Ateneo de Naga University, compares the challenges and responses of the educational industry as part of the New Normal. The challenges enumerated were focused on i) the context of the learner, 2) the capacity of educators, and 3) the inadequacy of existing policies for distance learning. As a response to these challenges, schools have stepped up to create new and flexible learning methods for both students and teachers. In all three challenges, emphasis is placed on the role of technology to push for more collaborative action to all involved parties: students, family, teachers, learning institutions, and the government. As a closing remark, the speaker emphasizes the need to reassess the country’s situation and context in order to create a more collective response.
The final resource speaker, Mr. Jakechris P. Sicad, Facilities Engineering Manager, Philippine Geothermal Production Company, Inc., provides insight on the current trends of the energy sector in Southeast Asia and the Philippines and its response to develop a more resilient strategy. The speaker highlights the trend that lockdowns drive higher residential consumption but is offset by the depression in commercial and industrial sector consumption. Additionally, there is a push to develop renewable energy policies, standards, and facility upgrades in partnership between private sectors and the government. There is also a greater emphasis to reduce the consumption of nonrenewable and transition to renewable energy resources for economic recovery. Lastly the main focus of the energy sector is to build long-term resilience against emergencies and natural catastrophes common in the Philippines.
After the presentation of resource speakers, Ms. Catherine Paterno opened the floor for questions shared in live chat during the webinar. During this open forum, Mr. Dexter provided examples of loan products available to individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic as well as enforced the need for government agencies and Local Government Units to partner with private companies in creating solutions. Mr. Jakechris explained that recurring power outages experienced by residential areas is the energy provider’s response in order to support future demands such as maintenance activities. On a separate question on renewable energy, he also referenced the Bicol region, in particular as a pioneer for geothermal energy where there are plans to expand renewable energy and capacity in the region. Following this, Mr. Kevin was asked to provide tips for micro food online sellers in the pandemic, to which he encouraged sellers to ‘be your own boss’ through a fail-fast approach by maximizing online platforms in order to quickly gain market experience and business know-how. Lastly, Mrs. Bernie responds to a question for education, where she cites the ADNU College of Nursing is already preparing for face-to-face classes but discussions are still ongoing with CHED. Still, the safety of the students and teachers are a top priority and she assures that all safety precautions and systems coming from the government are followed.
The said webinar held on May 08, 2021, Naga City was under the supervision of Dr. Malu C. Barcillano, Director of the Ateneo de Naga University-Center for Local Governance and Program Director of the MBA and MPA Cluster of the Ateneo de Naga University-Graduate School. The Webinar was conducted via Zoom Cloud Meeting with participation from Graduate students and guests, and live streamed through the Ateneo CLG’s social media accounts.
Moreover, the live streaming was supported and operated by the technical support team composed of Mr. Emmanuel P. Llorin, and Mr. Sherwin Perez of the James J. O’Brien, S.J. Library (headed by the University Librarian, Ms. Edna M. San Buenaventura).
To watch the recorded webinar, please refer to the following ADNU-CLG links:
By: Mr. Mendelsohn Mariano
MBA Student Graduate School